Who Owns What Decision?

by Jay Deragon on 07/18/2012

The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems that we cannot solve at the same level of (consciousness) at which we have created them. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humankind is to survive.”

Albert Einstein

Corporations grounded in old management models tend to control 99% of the strategic and tactical decisions. The bigger the corporation the slower the decision process flows. Meanwhile markets continue to change rapidly, customers and employees are expecting answers quickly yet people and organization invested in the old models of control refuse to change their ways.  What these people don’t seem to understand is that their decisions, or lack thereof, are becoming irrelevant as their company.

Paul Rogers and Marcia Blenko write in HBR: Decisions are the coin of the realm in business. Every success, every mishap, every opportunity seized or missed is the result of a decision that someone made or failed to make. At many companies, decisions routinely get stuck inside the organization like loose change. But it’s more than loose change that’s at stake, of course; it’s the performance of the entire organization.   Never mind what industry you’re in, how big and well known your company may be, or how clever your strategy is. If you can’t make the right decisions quickly and effectively, and execute those decisions consistently, your business will lose ground. Harvard Business Review: How Clear Decision Roles Enhance Organizational Performance. by Paul Rogers and Marcia Blenko

 Who Can Decide?

Many managers sit around in weekly management meetings to discuss open items and new issues. At the end of these “tribal rituals” managers realize that 80% of the dialog was either around old open items or issues for which no one brought any data. Thus the old issues never get resolved and new one simply get kicked down the road. The 20% which get conclusions usually revolve around where to go to lunch or what customer or employee is the biggest pain this week.  Sound familiar? The 21st Century management decision model will simply be that all decision, whether tactical or strategic, are made by those closest to the process and the customer.

The new role of management will be to get out of the way and remove anything and everything that is in the way. Given the right knowledge and a collaborative culture people can and will solve all problems faster and more effectively that any past management model. After all,  answers to any problem are now simply a click away. That is if people are allowed to “click”. Get it?

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